Wednesday, August 20, 2008

MicrospaceNews: Important new technology

One of the problems in very small spacecraft is controlling internal temperature, since there's no room for the active cooling systems used on larger craft. At a meeting of the American Chemical Society, researchers led by Dr. Prasanna Chandrasekhar, announced a solution - a thin film which changes color when triggered by an electrical signal. The film could wrap around a microspacecraft and change its visual and infrared absorption/reflectance as needed to maintain temperatures. Ground tests indicate the film could withstand the space environment, and the researchers are working with NASA to get the film, which is 1/100 of an inch thick, tested in space.

COMMENT: This is potentially a lot more interesting than it may sound. Being able to control the temperature inside a microspacecraft greatly expands the types of equipment. instrumentation, and experiments that can be carried.

No comments: